Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/26

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16
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

faculty in regard to the course of study. It only serves to show how overwhelming the arguments in favor of such a course must have been when the prayer of such a distinguished body of clergymen as that whose names were appended to this document should have produced no visible effect whatever, except to lend additional force to the victory of the aggressive party.

The great and imperishable service which Harvard College has rendered to American education in the last fifteen years consists in two things. It has extended enormously the range of subjects in which instruction is offered within it own limits, and thereby made it absolutely necessary for all other institutions which did not wish to lag hopelessly in the rear to do the same. This necessity has produced unusual efforts in every one of these old institutions to extend its facilities. One is perfectly safe in saying that the students of every other American college of high rank owe it to-day very largely to the example of Harvard that they have in their own college far better opportunities for study than their predecessors of fifteen years ago. And the boys of to-day may largely thank Harvard for taking such a position as has resulted in bringing to them advantages which otherwise might have come only to their children.

The other service is one of equal if not of greater value, viz., the full recognition of the equivalency of different lines of study from a liberal point of view, thus practically giving force to a conviction which almost always forces itself upon one as the result of any extended study of the art and science of education. This recognition has been given in two different forms, though at bottom they are parts of one and the same general plan. It has been given by the general introduction of the elective-study system within the college itself, thus recognizing the equivalency from a liberal point of view of all lines of study, at least after the student had learned a minimum amount of Latin, Greek and mathematics, and modern languages and science. It has now gone still further, and recognizes the full equivalency of different lines of preparatory study before the student comes to the college itself. Every one who has taken the requirements for admission and studied them carefully, is surprised to learn how many different combinations may be made, all of which are recognized as equally fitting a boy to take a liberal course of study. The difference between the new list and the old is very great, and may be properly denominated as epoch-making. The most important feature, and the one which interests us most in this immediate connection, is the fact that it is now possible to make up a combination which will be accepted as satisfying all requirements but which shall contain no Greek.

I am not trying to prove that this last-mentioned feature is a good thing, though it is my personal opinion that it is good. I wish merely to call attention to the fact that Greek is finally ousted from the place which it has hitherto held in the curriculum of the oldest and most